‘Three Points of View’ open daily through Sept. 27
August 20, 2015
Joan Bonney’s art class (video)
September 10, 2015
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Walking the line

As rain dripped in the garden and tea steeped in the pot, Joan Bonney taughter her students how to “Take a Line for a Walk” in the first of four classes this month at Twisted Fish Gallery.


Tree images and the resulting works-in-progress

“We’re concentrating on line, which is an element of art,” said Bonney, who will be teaching every Thursday morning in September. There’s still room for a couple students in the remaining classes, but they will fill quickly. Call 264-0123 to reserve your spot. The Sept. 10 class will focus on shape, perspective and point of view.

“The character of a line can tell you so much,” Bonney said, “by the kind of pencil you use, the kind of technique you use.” The higher the number on the pencil, the darker the pencil is, she said, plus the deeper it goes into the paper, making it harder to erase.

Students chose from a selection of tree images to learn with, while Bonney walked around, explaining how to use different pencils, how to utilize the kneaded eraser for different effects and, especially, how to appreciate contrast.

“Squint your eyes and point to where the darkest part of the picture is,” Bonney said. “Where else is it similarly dark? The distribution of darks and lights is what the final study is all about.”

Dottie Willruth draws

Dottie Willruth works on her tree drawing.

Marilyn Cobb, a retired librarian, signed up for the class because she’s trying to stretch the right side of her brain with creative pursuits. “I did eighth-grade biology drawings, but nothing since,” she laughed. She’s a quilter and has “creativity in the family,” but knew nothing about drawing before the class.

Joan Bonney class

Joan Bonney, left, works with fledgling artist Marilyn Cobb.

Some students were experienced artists, especially with painting, but all said they were learning tons from Bonney.

“You’re never too old to learn,” said one student. “(Joan) is a wealth of information.”

“I paint all the time,” said another student, “but I don’t draw. I’ve never used different pencils. I didn’t know anything about it.”

Among the tips shared by Bonney:

  • Look for contrasts
  • The eye is going to focus on interesting shapes, but you want the viewer to look at the whole picture
  • Highlights look light because the background is dark
  • Use the eraser to lighten or draw
  • Keep the character of the subject
  • Pay attention to the “negative spaces,” the part of the painting that is not part of the subject
  • Varying the size and shape of a negative space is important

Each week’s class focuses on a different element of drawing. Call 264-0123 to register.

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